The Möbius Strip in Magic: A Treatise on the Afghan Bands

The Möbius strip is one of the most enigmatic principles of mathematics through which a simple loop of paper transforms in unexpected ways. This topological quandary has not only inspired mathematicians; countless inventions use this principle and artists have painted, sculpted and written stories about the Möbius strip.

Magicians have also used this topological principle to create the illusion of magic under the name Afghan Bands. Famous magicians such as Harry Blackstone and Nelson Downs regularly performed it in the stage act. The history of this trick is a fascinating story about how magicians innovate their art using a simple principle. This history is also a tale of accusations of plagiarism over the many improvements made to this trick over the decades.

The Möbius Strip in Magic discusses the mathematics of the Möbius strip and describes how it has inspired inventors, artists and magicians. This book also contains instructions on how to create the various versions of Afghan Bands, including a version that uses a zipper with instructions how to use this prop deceptively.

The Afghan Bands are a minor mystery that deserves renewed attention. This book provides extensive theoretical, historical and practical information about this trick to inspire magicians to add it to their repertoire.

Peter Prevos’ work is incredible in every way. The items he chooses to write about are some of the most fascinating applications in the world of magic!—Mark Stevens.

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Afghan Bands Video Playlist

The YouTube playlist show the Möbius Strip as a magic trick and some theoretical aspects of this principle. The first video shows Harry Blackstone performing his version with cloth bands which he called the Red Rags.